The Start of a Very Nice Summer Day (A Symphony)
Daniil Kharms, 1930s
No sooner had the cock crowed than Timofei jumped out of his window onto the roof
and frightened everyone who was passing by on the street. Khariton the peasant
stopped, picked up a stone, and threw it at Timofei. Timofei disappeared. "What
a dodger!" cried the human herd, and a certain Zubov took a run and rammed
his head into a wall. "Oo!" exclaimed a peasant woman with a swollen cheek.
But Komarov gave the woman a swift left-right and she ran off howling.
Fetelyushin walked past and laughed. Komarov went up to him and said: "As for
you, you fat lump!" and punched Fetelyushin in the stomach. Fetelyushin
supported himself against the wall and started to hiccup. Romashkin spat out of
his window from above, trying to hit Fetelyushin. Meanwhile, nearby, a bignosed woman was beating her child with a trough. And a young, plump mother
was rubbing her pretty little girl's face against a brick wall. A small dog with a
broken hind leg lay sprawled on the pavement. A small boy was eating
something revolting from a spittoon. There was a long line for sugar at the
grocery shop. Women were swearing loudly and shoving each other with their
bags. Khariton the peasant, who had just drunk some methylated alcohol, was
standing in front of the women with his trousers undone and uttering obscenities.
Thus began a very nice summer day.
From Ruslan and Liudmila
Alexander Pushkin, 1820
There’s a green oak by the shores
Of the blue bay; on a golden chain,
A cat, learned in fairy stories,
Walks round the tree in ceaseless strain:
Moves to the right – a song it groans,
Moves to the left – it tells a tale.
There’re marvels there: the wood-sprite roams,
Midst branches shines a mermaid’s tail;
There are the strangest creatures’ traces
On mysterious paths and moors;
There stands a hut on hen’s legs, hairless,
With no windows and no doors [..]
Illustration for Ruslan and Liudmila
by 15-year-old Sasha Kushakov
From “Exegi Monumentum”
Alexander Pushkin, 1836
I have erected a monument to myself
Not built by hands; the path to it, though trodden
By the people, shall not become overgrown,
And it stands higher than Alexander's column.
From “The Prophet”
Alexander Pushkin, 1827
"Arise, prophet, and see, and hear,
Carry out my will,
And passing by sea and land,
Burn the hearts of people with the word."